There’s a local pub (which someday I’ll write about), where the wife and I used to spend a great deal of our meager spare time. I walked in one day wearing a beautiful sweater with a huge RCMP crest on it. I bellied up to the bar as the Publican poured a sleeve of Smithwicks without having to ask. I noticed a new patron at the bar amongst the crowd of usuals. The new guy had obviously been imbibing for awhile though he seemed personable enough. As I joined the conversation, the new guy suddenly became very aggressive toward me. He started to get up in my face. “You guys are a disgrace to your profession!” he snarled at me.
Most of the guys knew I was a scientist, but erroneously thought I was affiliated with the local uranium refinery. I assumed someone who didn’t know their ass from U-238 had been raising hell over the refinery again. I was quite sure the new guy didn’t have a serious problem with food scientists, but did he realize that’s what I was? He was getting aggressive enough that the publican had to lean over the bar and say “It’ s just a sweater, he’s not RCMP”. That calmed him down and he immediately apologized for his behavior and I then understood what his problem with me was.
I almost got into my first bar fight over a sweater with a crest that means nothing to me. I couldn’t care less about the RCMP, but their crest is ubercool. It’s got a buffalo and a crown, and lots of green and gold, and looks great on a sweater … unless you run into a drunk with a grudge.
On another, more pleasant note Ranger and I had our first “crokinole day” today due to REALLY CRAPPY WEATHER way too soon in the season. Also since we didn’t feel like driving in it, we decided to just walk across the street from his apartment to a restaurant for lunch. As our lunches hit the table, the old guy at the table beside us stood up to leave. He walked up to me and asked where I got the AVRO ARROW sweater I was wearing. I told him it was a gift from the wife. He then shared a few stories of the Arrow days with us. He knew the test pilot personally, who, when asked “Just how fast is that thing?” responded with “Faster than anything else I’ve ever flown”. His eyes clouded over slightly when he told us after the Arrow Project was scrapped, his test pilot buddy never flew again. Unfortunately, his wife was ready to go as I’d have loved to have heard more stories.
So there ya go. I damn-near got beat-up over one sweater, and I enjoyed a wonderful experience thanks to another. Maybe it’s not just a sweater after all.